The Hundred-Foot Journey
“That skinny Indian teenager has that mysterious something that comes along once a generation. He is one of those rare chefs who is simply born. He is an artist.”
And so begins the rise of Hassan Haji, the unlikely gourmand who recounts his life’s journey in Richard Morais’s charming novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey. Lively and brimming with the colors, flavors, and scents of the kitchen, The Hundred-Foot Journey is a succulent treat about family, nationality, and the mysteries of good taste.
Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps.
The boisterous Haji family takes Lumière by storm. They open an inexpensive Indian restaurant opposite an esteemed French relais—that of the famous chef Madame Mallory—and infuse the sleepy town with the spices of India, transforming the lives of its eccentric villagers and infuriating their celebrated neighbor. Only after Madame Mallory wages culinary war with the immigrant family, does she finally agree to mentor young Hassan, leading him to Paris, the launch of his own restaurant, and a slew of new adventures.
The Hundred-Foot Journey is about how the hundred-foot distance between a new Indian kitchen and a traditional French one can represent the gulf between different cultures and desires. A testament to the inevitability of destiny, this is a fable for the ages—charming, endearing, and compulsively readable.
The Hundred-Foot Journey
Reading Group Guide
Hassan Haji is born in Mumbai and raised among the spices and flavors of his grandmother’s kitchen and his family’s restaurant. But his life is changed forever when a tragedy forces his family to leave their home and the familiar chaos of India in search of a fresh start. Thus begins their impetuous journey across Europe, starting in London and ending in the remote French village of Lumière, where they happen to settle down opposite the haughty Madame Mallory—a renowned French chef with very specific ideas about taste. Young Hassan’s mind is opened by Madame Mallory and his encounter with the world of French cuisine. Yet expanding his palate in Lumière is just the beginning of Hassan’s journey; for in the hundred-foot distance from his family’s home to Madame Mallory’s restaurant, Hassan finds his destiny.
Full of eccentric characters, vivid settings, and delicious meals, The Hundred-Foot Journey recounts the strange and wondrous story of Hassan’s life—from his humble beginnings in the see more
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